I had my first FEC last wednesday, with the cold cap, and by Saturday I began to feel better, until I picked up a virus from my husband. ( I was checked at the hospital on Sunday and given pecautionary IV antiboltics, my bloods were okay) When they say avoid, I can not state clear enough try and stay away. Yesterday was the my lowest, I now have thrush, GP checked me over as was concerned about they way i sounded and to be honest probably looked 🙂 I was exhausted from coughing, and can't sleep. I spent most of the day in tears. Today I feel like i have a cold, still coughing but i feel there is light at the end of the tunnel. Next time anyone has sniffles when i have chemo, either I leave the house or they do.
Roll on feeling better, Im off to choose my wig tomorrow as a back up.
well, had my pre assessment this morning, and have got to say it did put my mind at rest. The chemo lounge is lovely bright and sadly busy...
It all kicks off tomorrow at 1 o clock....I will be having fec via a cannula with a nurse sat with me syringing it in...one after the other....it's supposed to take around an hour....( that's without the faff factor)
well, I suppose I will never be ready for this chemo game but will just have to put on my big girl pants....reading all your posts help me no end, just knowing I am not the only one helps...
ps decided to pop to marks after assessment to cheer myself up with a top, the assistant said...oh what a lovely top for valentine day...doing anything nice? To which I replied.....if you call having chemo nice! Poor girl....but sometimes I can't help myself.....I blame it on the chemo! Xxx
Okay I've looked up FEC and I'm not having that - I'm HER2+ and am having pertuzamab and trastuzumab (catchy) tomorrow and then docetaxel the next day, then after that they will all be given together every three weeks. Is anyone else having this, or has had this - wondering if the side effects are different from FEC...
Hi ladies after diagnosis in October and 3 operations later I finally get to start chemo in a couple of weeks so hopefully will be a late starter to this thread. I am ready ...
Got my info session this afternoon and then treatment starts tomorrow and Friday (does anyone else have their first one across two days?). What is FEC and how does everyone else but me know exactly what they'll be on! Am also wondering what the dark nail polish is for, should I be doing that today in preparation? Have just had a nice short haircut in preparation for the cold cap - am really hoping it works for me as I have fine hair and I don't want to freak my son out.
Was feeling very anxious, but yesterday, finally, got all the bone scan and CT results in and they are all clear. My husband was elated, but I still feel a bit numb about it all. Just want to get this out of the way, though am also dreading years of taking drugs when I've always been so careful to never put horrible things in my body. I realise this is a petty concern in the scheme of things, but I'm the type of person who can't drink coffee because it makes me jittery and am wondering what on earth the drugs will do to me.
Hey ho. Good luck to everyone else out there and thank you to those who are posting a week or so ahead, it's very comforting to have any information at all.
Glad to hear you're doing OK. Sorry to hear the sickness was bad for you. I hope Emend helps you - it stopped me from being sick but I was given 2 additional anti-sickness meds as well.
The lunch question is a difficult one. I was told to avoid restaurants on days 7 to 14 when your immunity is at its lowest. I was also told to avoid buffets at all costs as you never know who's been messing with them! Like you, I was hoping to have a bit of restaurant food during this week but I am not sure it is worth the risk. Week 3 is meant to be the best time to plan anything so I may postpone until then. The joys of chemo 😯
I agree about the book it's very good. But I am not sure if a cheap wig from Tesco should put you off for ever. Good luck tomorrow. Let us know how it went.
I agree about the book it's very good. But I am not sure if a cheap wig from Tesco should put you off for ever. Good luck tomorrow. Let us know how it went.
I plan to try the ‘cold cap ‘ tomorrow. I am also going to take a thermos flask of warm water with fresh ginger added.
Fruit pieces: pineapple.
I have just ordered a sleep cap and a sporty cap from
as even with the cold cap it sounds like the hair follicles need some TLC.
I will take my winter beanie tomorrow ( the one I normally wear). I don’t do wigs. Dressed up as a witch at school for Halloween and it was the wig of long black hair (from Tesco’s) that drove me nuts.
The ‘Complete Guide to Breast Cancer ‘ by Professor Trisha Greenlalgh and Dr. Liz O’Riordan is the BEST book I have read on the subject ( my husband bought me at least 6 titles over the Christmas Break- no I didn’t ask for any, I would rather read fiction!!!).
It explained everything very clearly. I highly recommend it.
Morning ladies & a warm welcome to our new ladies
Day 6 for me after my first session of FEC on Thursday, not all plain sailing but I’ve got through & am feeling ‘almost’ normal today.
Its important to remember that everyone’s experience is different. The positives.... The hospital staff were great, the treatment was ok, the cold cap was doable, I felt ok afterwards.
I was so sure that as I didn’t suffer from pregnancy sickness I wasn’t likely to have chemo sickness unfortunately this didn’t apply to me, vomiting afterwards leading to anti sickness injection & a visit to hospital. I’ve been reassured that my meds will be changed to Emend, which I’ve seen mentioned on here, and hopefully it won’t happen again. Thankfully I was able to eat & drink normally-ish from Monday.
I too have gone off coffee although I keep making & trying it & find some smells unbearable.
I took a headband with me for the cold cap, it’s worn under the cap over your ears & forehead to protect them from the cold. The hosp has a spray leave in conditioner. I wore it for 30 minutes before & (different for everybody) a long 2 hours after, but it went quickly.
I found sucking a mint during the metallic part of my treatment helped.
So far I’ve kept the ulcers at bay using mouthwash after eating & have been drinking diluted pineapple juice, so far so good.
I’m hoping to go out for lunch tomorrow but am becoming paranoid about germs. Will the salad be washed correctly? What if someone has a cold?
What does everyone think?
Good luck, best wishes & hugs to everyone starting treatment this week xxxx
Wow this is a busy thread! A warm welcome to all the new people!
I know how overwhelming this whole chemo thing is but Trixielady is spot on by saying take things one day at a time. Before you start it is a good time to get stocked up with various remedies, etc. However, you just can't predict everything. The weirdest thing for me has been the taste changes and cravings. Everything I've eaten since session 1 has to have cheese on it! I have gone off tea and coffee which is awful for me as I used to get through a good 8 cuppas a day!
I did try the cold cap and haven't lost any hair yet but it is still early days (am now on day 9) so I'll let you know if that changes.
Good luck with assessments and upcoming treatments. Xxx
Sorry, the message went without me finishing it...! I read Lis O'riordan's book Complete guide to breast cancer... £10 on amazon and I found it very helpful. Xx
Hi Jeanette, with regard to lists of what you need, I found Tick it off breast cancer site useful, there's a whole section on useful tips for chemotherapy. I also read Liz O'Roidan, s book
Welcome to the group, I am starting my chemo on 20th February pre assessment ion Monday. So like you I am still waiting to start. This is a supportive,informative and yes funny group to belong to. I know we would rather not belong to it but at least we have all found each other. Because no one family or friends can know how we feel in the same was as all of the other girls on here .so welcome and look forward to sharing with you.
Good luck at your preassessment Marlyn! I have mine this afternoon.
As for a definitive list of things to do before chemo starts, I haven't seen anything that neatly lists stuff as such.
But what I've picked up from the docs and on here:
Get a flu jab at least a week before
Have a dentist check up and ask them to look for any problem areas/potential signs of infection
Have your hair cut shorter if you are going to be trying the cold cap, to minimise the weight tugging on the follicles
Actually decide if you want to do the cold cap or not (I still can't make my flipping mind up! 🙂 )
Get a wig sorted and some nice soft hats and stuff
Buy various mouthwashes and toiletries as advised throughout this thread. And anti travel sickness wristbands, and dark nail varnish.
Get your fluid intake up, drink as much water as you can, especially day before, day of and day after chemo.
And, well, try not to worry too much! Easier said than done, that bit!
I'm sure there are a ton of things I have forgotten.
Morning all you beauties,
just off to my pre chemo assessment, start proper tomorrow like! Eek!!!! Catch you all later xxxx
Hi Everyone that's new at the moment, welcome and good luck for up and coming chemo xx
It's the fear of the unknown but on here we're working well together, there's so many differentences. All I can advise is you take it one day at a time and bare in mind it just might or might not happen to you. Haha in my case it does.
Hi everyone, I’m starting FEC-T on 27th Feb. Pre assessment on 25th. I’m just wondering if anyone has found a link anywhere to a list of “must have/must do” before treatment starts? I’ve not had chance to read through the whole thread yet but I have spotted some good info already. Just wanted to say hello really and to let you know I’m comforted by all these kindred spirits as I’m feeling extremely nervous at the moment.
Just for infomation, Have use dGoogle translate to translate part of the article from chinese to English.....
February 4th is World Cancer Day. Let's talk about the latest research findings on cancer today. I believe many people have heard that eating too many bean products, such as tofu, soy milk or natto, will develop breast cancer, but at the same time, I have heard that eating beans can prevent cancer. Which one is correct? The latest finding is: Both are correct.
After the cancer is recovered, the beans are eaten. The risk of recurrence increases.
However, the study was not over. After the research team cured all the cancer-bearing mice and then given them the ginseng flavonoid food, it found an interesting phenomenon: those mice that had been taking the ginseng flavonoid food as the staple food had only 7% after rehabilitation. The chance of cancer recurrence; but other mice that ate the generin flavonoids after recovery, had a 33% chance of recurrence. The results showed that mice that did not normally eat bean food habits, if they suddenly eat legumes after the recovery of cancer, the cancer recurrence rate will be higher than those who have eaten legumes regularly.
Professor Leena Hilakivi-Clarke, who is in charge of research, said that they are temporarily unable to explain why this phenomenon is possible, but it is estimated that this is related to the immune system: "Ginkgo flavonoids can make the immune system work against cancer cells, but if the mice do not By pre-launching this mechanism, the generin is a catalyst for cancer."
"We have answered a long-standing myth from this experiment. Many people will suggest that cancer patients and cancer curers avoid eating legumes. Our answer is: If you don't usually eat beans, you really need to avoid contact. Bean food; but if you are used to eating beans, you should continue to eat to further reduce the chance of cancer recurrence." However, there is no explanation for how much food is usually eaten. In fact, soy isoflavones are described in addition to cancer, and are also indicated to have a positive effect on the treatment of menopausal discomfort, women's health and prevention of osteoporosis. This experiment shows that legumes are eaten harmless and there is no need to stop because of cancer.
I bought 2 soft hair bands yesterday in boots. I think we are meant to wear them forward on our foreheads, I think it's for comfort. If you have not seen them then I recommend the Victoria Derbyshire videos of her going through chemo and using the cold cap .she wears a headband and you can see it's on her forehead so away from her hair line. Well I will be thinking of you next week, two of you one Monday then Tuesday and me last lap on Wednesday. Gosh I can't believe it's real still most of the time. Really dreading it like I know everyone else must be. Mainly the fear of the unknown, I can't even imagine how I am going to feel, I hate a hangover so much that I hardly drink at all. Now the NHS is giving me a Megga hangover for free. 😞🤕💩💩
yes. agreed there is a long debate on soya bean consumption. A doctor in Hiong Kong has recommended max 260cc soy milk daily. (Not able to copy and paste the article...in chinese )
lovemama - that's really interesting information. I'm veggie so I have a fair few soya based products, my doc hadn't said anything about avoiding them. There is so much confusing and sometimes contraditory info about diet!
PS best of luck for Monday! we're only a day apart..... it's part scary and part I just want to get on with it.
Hi , just pop in. No idea how to start a conversion but ony to reply.
I am on 'T'-axol/Purjeta/Herceptin and usually refer to www.foodforbreastcancer.com for my diet during chemo.. On the home page after clicked on Taxol, the below list would be shown.
Foods and other products that should not be used during Taxol chemotherapy
The following foods and supplements have been found either to interfere with the effectiveness of Taxol or, in the case of raw shellfish, should not be consumed by those with impaired immunity:
Açaí berries Caffeine, any source Capers Clementine juice Coffee, regular or decaf Dong quai or angelica sinensis supplements Fish oil supplements Garlic supplements Genistein supplements Goji berries Goldenseal supplements Green tea or EGCG supplements
Grapefruit Jia-Wei-Xiao-Yao-San supplements Multivitamins & antioxidant supplements Mangosteen Noni Pineapple Quercetin supplements Sage Highly salty foods Shellfish, raw St. John's Wort
And, on the home page , click on soya beans under the 'Alphabetical food' menu and below info could be found
(posted before in other thread) Coincident or whatever, at beginning of last year, due to diabetic, I started to take at least 1L soy milk daily and high dose bee propolis and in 1 month, i felt back pain and after, was diagnosed BC recurrence on sternum. ,
PS. the professors in my son's medical school tend to believe soya bean is good for people that never have BC. But once diagnosised, soy bean is not recommended.
I did see someone saying that you should wear a headband to avoid headaches, but then again my breast cancer nurse says that the cap needs to be in direct contact with the whole scalp, and surely if you had a headband on, it wouldn't be?
I'll ask at my preassessment tomorrow....
Welcome ❤️ and thank you for your journey. I am starting chemo on Monday, and I am not prepared! I think my head was in the clouds, this is definitely due to me continuing to work and surviving on adrenaline.
I will definitely look at your recommendations, I am going to use a cold cap.. my Macmillan nurse did say to cut my hair, but didn’t say why. So now I know!
I have read in people’s advice that a headband is good. Do you have any knowledge on this?
Good luck for tomorrow too, your day sounds super busy xx
Phew - it has taken me ages to read through this whole thread! 😄
And now I've gone from feeling quite prepared and well informed to feeling like there is SO much I don't know!
Strong mints during chemo infusion?
dark nail polish?
travel sickness bands? (just ordered a pair 🙂 )
Neither my oncologist or chemo nurse have mentioned any of that!
Looks like I still have a ton of reading to do 😕
Please call me Sarah, by the way 🙂
So - tomorrow's going to be a crazy busy day, dentist check up at 10am, then hairdressers at 12 (getting my lovely long hair cut into a short pixie - as I'm going to attempt the cold cap and they reckon it stands a better chance of working on short hair), then GP for a flu jab (the effort it has been to get that sorted! seems everywhere has run out of them), then to the hospital for my chemo pre assessment apointment, then to the sorting office to collect a ton of parcels. It's my first day since surgery that I'm allowed to drive again, just as well! 🙂 Oh and at some point tomorrow a new tumble dryer is being delivered too (which I'm leaving my 16yo son to deal with as I'll be out all day), as the old one decided to blow up yesterday, because of course it did 🙂
Then Thursday I'm back in the hospital to have a portocath fitted under general anaesthetic as my veins are rubbish
- in overnight, home Friday
Then it's just twiddle my thumbs until my first chemo next Tuesday.
I'm doing 3 x 3 week cycles of FEC then the same again of T. and at some point they are also introducing hisphosphonate (sp?) and hormones. And then after that I have a month of daily radiotherapy on both the boob and my armpit. My doc recommended radio on the armpit over lymph node clearance as she reckons the results are the same in terms of risk of cancer recurrence, but the lymph node clearance would have a higher risk of lymphoedema? I took her word for it and went for the radio.
I'm slightly worried at seeing how long some of the ladies from last year had off work! 11 months??? My work are only paying me till end March and I was hoping to be at least able to work from home after that. I'm a single (ish) mum and need the money 😕 I say single ish as I do have a partner of 10 years but he doesn't live with me full time (he's here at weekends but lives near his work during the week as he works looooong hours) and has his own mortgage to pay.....
Oh and I'll join the club who had to cancel a big,much looked forward to holiday 😞 we were due to go to the states mid March for 2 weeks, all booked and paid for 😞 gutted! but never mind, it will have to be done another time, and I should get most of the money back from the insurance hopefully (although they aren't being desperately helpful!)
Despite all that whinging ( 🙂 ) I'm actually in fairly good spirits.
Thanks for the warm welcome, Sarah
Welcome to the group. Gosh your treatment has been quick. I had a mastectomy last November (my choice could have had a lumpectomy) I had reconstruction as well. I also had a lymph node clearance in December.My ONCO came back at 27 so I am having chemo starting next Wednesday. I seem to have been waiting for ever. Read through the threads as there will be loads of advice on there for you to prepare for next week. Also dip into the older threads say January and December. I have so much stuff ready I think I am preparing for a nuclear war. Are you going to use the cold cap or not. You probably have not had time to process everything yet as your journey has been a swift one. Well from my experience anyway. Wish I could have started sooner to get it over and done with. I will look forward to chatting with you.
you sound very organised! From these lasses I have stocked up on....udderly smooth body lotion ( Amazon) lip balm, biotene mouth spray, difflam mouth rinse, scalp oil ( bald heads can be sensitive) child's soft tooth brush, corsodyl toothpaste and mouth wash, bicarbonate of soda ( also for rinsing mouth) double base gel for sensitive skins.....thermometer and flu jab last week......phew!!! I write lists as I see what's been recommended....cost a small fortune! I will be on fec for between 4 and 6 cycles then herceptin....what's your cocktail? Xxx
Yes it all happens so fast you barely have time to think about it, doesn't it! Maybe that's for the best 🙂
I've been shopping for chemo supplies today. I've bought two super funky wigs (as my day to day hair is already crazy colours and it's kind of what I'm known for!) plus a soft non slip wig band for underneath. Also I've got some hand/foot cream and silk gloves. And a couple of cotton sleep caps.
Is there anything else I should stock up on before we get going do you think?
welcome to our chemo club, I am pretty new too. I am 53 and was diagnosed Dec 17 th , lumpectomy jan 3rd....her2 pos ...and chemo starts Thursday, what a whirlwind! A long road ahead for sure but these beauties on here have helped me no end...all sorts of tips and advice.....
catch you later xxx
Um, hi everyone. This is my first visit to the forum.
I'm going to go back and read this thread later tonight (and have a look around the forum in general), but I thought I would quickly say hi first.
I'm Sarah, 51, from Wiltshire. Diagnosed a couple of days before Christmas, had lumpectomy 2 and a half weeks ago, and I start chemo next Tuesday.
Not desperately looking forward to it but it's got to be done! My Oncotype score was highish (34) and they also found cancer in one of my lymph nodes.
Look forward to getting to know the rest of you in the same boat.
For me, the FEC took about 45 minutes and that was done via 6 syringes (the nurse was sat with me throughout). The saline went through before that and probably took about 15 minutes. I lost track of time to be honest!
Good luck, you can do this.
for myself it was 2 hours but although we're on Fec the amount may differ, think our bodies take in at different rates, I'm sure weight, age and other things are taken into consideration. I do know that they also carry out a saline flush before and afterwards tho. The nurse sat with me during epirubicin as that one for me went in through a cannula(requirement for epirubicin for all I believe and the others went in via IV xx
I wonder if any of you lovely lasses can tell me how long I will be hooked up for? From the time infusion starts to when your unhooked? I will be having fec .....in my head I will shooting up the entire day! Xx
Hi Claire 1970
I s cold caping too last minute decision for me. As for the wig well as you know you can't use a hair dryer or strainers or heated rollers (my fav) on your hair. So with this in mind I know I would look terrible as my hair likes a lot of attention. So I am cutingi it short and will wear a wig to go out but hopefully be able to be wigless around the house. If you have hair that looks great dried naturally then maybe you could manage without a wig. Have you seen the Victoria Derbyshire videos of when she had breast cancer and chemo, she used the cold cap but still lost s considerable amount of hair. She wore a wig. But get it was worth it as it grew back fairly quickly. I hope this is helpful. Oh I bought a wig from Simply wigs they were really helpful. But I think you would be better going to a salon first as I did then you know all about the different types there are. I have two wigs one Bob style and the other is longer and is heat resistant so I can use my heated rollers 😀😀.
I am well today thank you. Friday was very emotional for me 😥. I got my treatment plan, I got a call today. So I start my chemotherapy on the 18th February. I’ve got mixed emotions, I’m nervous but I know I can do this. All of you guys have been so supportive in sharing your journeys.
How are you? Xx
Thanks Rosina I’ll go back to having it in my porridge then, I still recommend the pineapple though😂
I'm just cooking my boy's supper so can't really respond properly, but will try to tap a bit later, or in the morning... needless to say I'm scared witless, but doing best to be a grown up. Having read thread am a bit concerned that I have no wig ordered! Am going to try the cold cap after being strongly encouraged by my onco, but maybe I should have a wig in the wings, oh dear. This forum has already been a great help as I don't know anyone who's been through this - or at least I've only known people with brain tumours, inculding my own mum, who didn't make it, hence my fear I guess.
Back when able - thanks for having me. I'm not a robot, good to know.
The benefits of soy.
I am ER+ and PR+ and drinking soya milk and eating tofu :
I found it confusing too but in the end realised that you just reply to someone. Not ideal if your post is not realised to any of the conversations. But it seems to work. Welcome to the group, I am starting chemo on the 20th February I seem to be the last one all the time. Just wish I could get on with it now as waiting is so hard. I have been doing a bit of retail therapy today nothing like a bit of stress relieving shopping. Again welcome and I am sure we will hear from you soon. I would be really interested to hear how your chemo day goes. What are you having do you know? Anyway good luck. Watch out for the bloody robot 🤖 if you don't wait for a tick before you post it will just disappear.it's a real pain.
i am also starting chemo this Thursday.....welcome to chemo club, it's a very exclusive club...only very special ladies can join....xxxxx
Hi Clare, I'm from the Oct '17 thread, sorry you're having to have chemo and especially on Valentine's Day! You don't have to subscribe to join in, you just use the reply button,but you will probably have to confirm that you're not a robot! x
Welcome and good luck, what a wonderful valentines present! There's another couple of lovely ladies that are also starting on Thursday. I honestly can't remember what I done but if pressing reply works just go with it the problem now is our lovely robot as nothing saves xx
I'm starting chemo on Valentine's Day - so romantic - and would like to join this group, but do I have to subscribe or can I just use the Reply button to join the chat - already confused, ha.